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Mike Birbiglia's My Girlfriend's Boyfriend: laughing at misfortune

Mike Birbiglia has problems. Though as he likes to pitch it, they’re “painful, hilarious problems” and when they take on comedic forms, they sound more like the gripes of that sardonic and hilarious friend we all seem to have. My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend is the New York-based comedian’s newest stand-up routine and like his previous acts, albums and even a recent New York Times best-selling book, the show stems from Birbiglia’s own true-to-life personal experiences. His storytelling style is straightforward and honest in a manner that makes even his most serious stories – especially those involving his chronic and dangerous sleepwalking disorder – not only relatable, but laughable, in a guilt-free and uplifting way.

Birbiglia says the show is really about the heartbreak and pain of relationships. Though not exactly atypical subject matter for a thirty-something comic, Birbiglia’s unique selling point is the subtle way his acts seem to speak only about himself and, at the same time, on behalf of his audience. If Birbiglia’s now characteristic self-pitying (though always upbeat and affable) style is any indication, the romantic situations his new act will focus on are something that Birbiglia and the audience alike can not only poke fun at, but also actually say something meaningful about the reality of it all.

Bibiglia’s delivery is far from deadpan and he’s not one for one-liners. Instead, his jokes build towards telling a larger story. They’re more than just cheap shots at his most distressing private issues. His anecdotes, ironically plugged as his “secret public journal,” are just that – the most personal aspects of life situations we actually all share in common. And ultimately, that’s what makes Birbiglia’s take on them not only funny, but also compelling.


My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend
Until January 8th
Gesù - Centre de créativité | 1200, Bleury | legesu.com